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Men’s lacrosse notes: Loyola Maryland unfazed by heartbreaking loss

Loyola Maryland men's lacrosse coach Charley Toomey, shown in April, is not worried about his team's mental state after suffering a 13-12 loss in double overtime at Virginia.
Loyola Maryland men's lacrosse coach Charley Toomey, shown in April, is not worried about his team's mental state after suffering a 13-12 loss in double overtime at Virginia. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

For the fourth time in the past five meetings, a men’s lacrosse game between Loyola Maryland and Virginia was decided by one goal, and all four have gone in the No. 10 Cavaliers’ favor.

But Saturday’s setback might have been especially wrenching for the No. 12 Greyhounds because they failed to protect an 8-3 advantage in the third quarter, rallied to score the final three goals to send the game into overtime, and then watched sophomore midfielder Dox Aitken score just 15 seconds into the second overtime.

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But Loyola coach Charley Toomey said he is not worried about his players’ mental state after that loss.

“Obviously, if we did, we probably don’t make the tournament last year” after losing to Virginia, 16-15, Toomey said. “We lost a very similar game to Virginia. … These are the moments in a season where every coach is learning about his team, and what I’ve found out is there are a lot of teaching moments within that game. We were down 12-9 and put it into overtime and held them scoreless for nine minutes in the fourth quarter. We had the ball in the first overtime and had opportunities and couldn’t generate a good shot. So not only did we kind of become unhinged and give up opportunities to let them back into the game, we also bulled our necks and were able to crawl back into the game late with some pressure on us. Those are things that you want to see and those are things that you want to build on.”

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The Greyhounds will seek to avoid a 0-2 start when No. 8 Johns Hopkins (1-0) comes to Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore on Saturday at 1 p.m., and that game will be the first college lacrosse game streamed live on Facebook.

The matchup, which will also be broadcast by the Patriot League Network, is one of two Loyola games that will stream on Facebook. The other is a March 10 matchup against No. 1 Duke. The Greyhounds and the Patriot League Network streamed the first college men’s lacrosse game on Twitter when they hosted Virginia on Feb. 11, 2017.

Maryland’s Young unlikely: Bryce Young is doubtful to return in time for the No. 2 Terps’ game at High Point on Saturday.

The senior defenseman, who started all 19 games last spring, has missed the first two games because of an undisclosed injury and was seen using crutches. But coach John Tillman remains hopeful Young will return sometime this season.

“I do feel like that what little I’ve gotten from the doctor, there’s been nothing that — from what I’ve heard — would change my mentality of him being back and being back sooner than later,” he said. “So everything seems to be trending positively for Bryce.”

UMBC’s first in seven years: The Retrievers’ 9-6 win against Richmond on Saturday was their first victory in a season opener since 2011, when that squad defeated Presbyterian, 16-10. Coach Ryan Moran was fully aware of the program’s winless drought in season-opening games.

“I’m glad we got that monkey off our back,” he said. “I think any win would be meaningful, especially one to open up the season. Guys are working hard and every team that plays thinks it’s doing what it needs to do to win, and we were just fortunate enough to come out victorious. Hopefully, that win breathes a little extra confidence into our guys and helps them to believe in what we’re doing.”

Towson’s goalie competition: In his first career start, sophomore goalkeeper Shane Brennan made just four saves and surrendered 11 goals for No. 19 Towson in the first half of Saturday’s 14-6 loss at Johns Hopkins before being replaced by senior Josh Miller, who stopped five shots and allowed only three goals.

Coach Shawn Nadelen said either player could start Saturday against Mount St. Mary’s at noon.

“You look at [Miller’s] experience, and that gives you a little confidence,” he said. “But I’m not ready to push Shane aside either. Shane’s had a really strong year. He played well in the scrimmages; he played well this week. After just one half of play, we’re not going to push him off to the side. Shane has continued to earn an opportunity, and Josh has as well. So we’ve just got to see how that plays out.”

Foley’s return: In his first action in almost two years, Johns Hopkins junior defenseman Patrick Foley scored a goal on a nice give-and-go with junior attackman Kyle Marr just 1:54 into the first quarter and added three ground balls and one caused turnover coming off the bench against Towson on Saturday.

Foley, who did not play last spring after being ruled academically ineligible, was pleased that his efforts helped the Blue Jays earn a victory.

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“Any way I can help my teammates is what makes me the most excited,” he said. “Being back is obviously a huge steppingstone for me. I did what I needed to do off the field, and I came back and I’m happy to be out here with these guys and helping this defense to the performance we had [Saturday].”

Mount’s youth on display: Mount St. Mary’s has only four seniors on its roster, and the team’s inexperience appeared to be an impediment in Saturday’s 16-12 loss at Delaware in which the Mountaineers squandered a 7-3 advantage in the second quarter.

“I think that our youth showed unfortunately at times,” coach Tom Gravante said. “We had four seniors on the field for us and the rest are underclassmen. So at times, we made some young mistakes. The fundamentals of throwing and catching are supposed to be in place. At times, we had unforced turnovers. … These are tough lessons we have to take into practice and reorganize.”

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